Bible Pathways - Mar. 24, 2008
Highlights In Today's Reading:
Israel's repetitious disobedience resulted in its 4th defeat and domination by the Midianites. Gideon must take a stand against his own father's sinful actions. H ow did the Lord have Gideon pick his army before he faced the Midianites' army (7:2-6)?
For seven long years the Israelites were worshiping Baal and consequently were suffering under the rule of the Midianites. They needed to learn that failure to obey God always results in suffering.
Gideon's readiness to obey the command of the Angel is most refreshing. At great risk to himself, Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord. . . . the Lord said unto him . . . throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath (built) . . . And build an altar unto the Lord thy God upon the top of this rock . . . and offer a burnt sacrifice. . . . Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the Lord had said unto him (6:24-27).
Gideon then faced the vicious reaction of those in his own home; for he feared his father's household. There was an outcry of vengeance from the city against Gideon for destroying the altar of Baal and erecting an altar to God.
After this, Gideon faced a vast invading army of 135,000 soldiers (8:10), while at the same time he was instructed by the Lord to progressively disband his own forces. It seemed inconceivable to expect his chosen 300 soldiers to defeat the huge Midianite and Amalekite army. In our hopeless hour when there seems no way out, it is reassuring to know that God is always able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20).
As we respond in faith, God is able to increase our faith that we may recognize that God is in control of every detail of our lives. "Things" that happen to believers are not accidents but incidents to be used of God to develop our faith to fulfill His will. However, some Christians prefer to avoid opportunities of being used of God under the guise of "waiting for a more convenient time." They avoid at all cost the difficulties that are often essential to fulfill His will. They avoid all the inconveniences that would be necessary to be like Paul, the man God chose to write the majority of our New Testament. God said of the Apostle Paul: I will shew him how great things he must suffer for My Name's sake (Acts 9:16). For all who are willing to be used of God, you can be sure He worketh all things after the counsel of His own will (Ephesians 1:11).
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy (I Peter 4:12-13). In comparison to a million years in heaven, it's not much of a price to pay.
Thought for Today:
Those that do God's will make themselves available while those who do nothing, only find fault with the Church.
As sword of the Lord (Judges 7:20). In the Apostle John's revelation of Jesus, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword (Rev. 1:16). We know that the sword is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17) and that Jesus is the Word of God made (become) flesh (John 1:14).
6:36 by my hand =b> through me; 7:4 try =b> test; 7:22 host =b> an army.
Pray for English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in honor of Rick Hash • Staff: Pam Pendergrast • Government Officials: Gov. Christine Gregoire (WA) and Rep. Don Manzullo (IL) • Country: Hong Kong (7 million) in eastern Asia • Major languages: Chinese and English • Limited religious freedom • 90% Chinese religions; 10% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Pray with great faith and the Lord will answer (Matthew 21:22).
Optional Reading: John 15
Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:22